February 10, 2020

Award-Winning Chili


6 ancho dry chilies
6 guajillo dry chilies
3 sweet onions (like vidalia)
2 bulbs whole garlic
2 green peppers
12 oz. bottle stout beer (like Guinness)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 @ 28 oz. canned tomatoes (pureed or chopped)
8 oz tomato Paste
2 @ 15-oz cans white beans, with juice
3 lbs. beef short ribs or beef shanks
1.5 lbs. sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed. (or buy in bulk without casing)
2 tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp paprika
5 whole bay leaves
2 tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 or 2 jalapeño peppers (depending on how hot you like your chili), seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped

For Garnish:

green onions, thinly sliced
sour cream
shredded sharp cheddar cheese
fresh cilantro leaves
hot sauce
crusty bread


Preheat your oven to 350F

In a medium saucepan, simmer beer, ancho and guajillo chilies together for about 15 minutes until the chilies are tender. Place mixture in a blender and puree for 30 seconds, then, using a strainer, strain the blended mixture. Reserve the liquid and discard the solids.

Cut onions in quarters with skin left on and place into a Pyrex baking dish with whole garlic bulbs. Add 4oz of water to the dish, drizzle the onions and garlic with EVOO and sprinkle with kosher salt. Cover dish tightly with foil, place in preheated oven and bake for about 90 minutes at 350F, until the onions and garlic are tender.

Allow onions and garlic to cool completely, then remove skin from the onions and garlic. Coarsely chop the onions and smash the garlic cloves into a paste and set aside.

Roast green peppers whole on a baking sheet in the oven until skin turns brown on all sides. When peppers are done, while still hot, place them in a paper or plastic bag to cool, this will allow them to “sweat” and make peeling them easy. Once cool, peel the skin away, remove the seeds and add the roasted peppers to the onions and garlic. Discard the skin and seeds.

Brown your beef short ribs or shank in a large stockpot. Choose a stock pot that has a lid that fits. Remove beef from the pot and set aside.

In the same pot, sear the sausage, leaving it in large pieces. Once it is browned, remove from pot and set aside.

While the pot is still hot, add the beer and chili mix. Scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen the pan essence (fond).

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, coriander, paprika, cumin, bay leaves, salt, pepper and browned beef to the pot. Bring all ingredients to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cover and cook gently until the beef is tender, approximately 2 hours.

Once the beef is cooked through, remove from pot and allow to cool, then pull it from the bones. Discard the bones.

Add the onions, garlic, peppers, beans, sausage and beef back into the chili mixture. Cover and let simmer for another 15 minutes.

This chili is better made the day before, then reheated on the stove. Ladle piping hot chili into bowls and garnish to serve.